When I got saved in 1972 my immediate passion was to reach lost souls. God called me to be an evangelist. Some urged me to get a seminary degree. However, I observed that many seminary graduates lost their zeal for souls, if indeed they ever had such. I Cor 8:1, warns, “knowledge puffs up but charity edifies.
”For the first several years in my evangelistic ministry, I did not have much of an understanding of the differences between Calvinists and Arminians. Within a decade, I became acquainted with moral government theology, which seemed to provide the most reasonable answers to the philosophical and theological issues, which tend to divide Christians and isolate us into our various and separate camps. Still, I strived through it all to maintain an ecumenical spirit.
Through my almost five decades of preaching, I have continued my focus on saving souls from the power and dominion of sin and the terrible eternal consequences of the wrath of God. While I have somewhat of a philosophical bent, I am cautious about getting carried away with theoretical issues.
Paul said, “Beware lest any my spoil you with philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the teaching after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—Col 2-8Some of the controversies, which I get caught up in myself from time to time on FB, are dominated by esoteric terminology, which few understand. If we are not careful these debates can tempt us to intellectual pride. Or at least we limit our audience by a message that few understand, wondering, “What the hell are they talking about?”
Meanwhile, the masses of men are being led to the abyss. Paul expressed his concerns, “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”—2 Cor 11:3I strive to keep my message simple. When the jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”—Acts 16:31
The Apostles merely answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” And they spoke the word of God to him and his household, which I would assume concentrated on Jesus’ death and resurrection. That very night the jailor and all his family were baptized. Paul was arguably the greatest intellect of his day but when presenting the gospel, he kept things understandable to the common man.Jesus was wiser than Solomon; yet, his call for disciples was plain and unpretentious, “Follow me.”